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Join us for Week 389 of Orofino History Trivia a special feature to celebrate the history and heritage of Clearwater Country.

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Monday: It became the shipping and commercial center for the mines, farms and ranches.

Tuesday: Was a natural funnel

According to information in John Bradbury's Clearwater County History series, Greer was the first town to prosper with the arrival of the homesteaders. It became the shipping and commercial center for the mines, farms and ranches. It was the funnel through which all the freight trains and wagons had to go to haul supplies to Fraser, Weippe and Pierce city. It was also the natural place to haul grain that was grown on the prairie to ship it to market.

In 1877, after the Nez Perce had cut the ferry loose and burned the way station, John Greer and John J. Molloy bought the ferry operation from Dennis Dunwell. He was known as an 'affable and genial gentleman' according to the History of North Idaho and the people named the town after him. He also donated the land that became the townsite.

In 1890, Greer and some homesteaders built a new road to the prairie that provided better access than the old Pierce City road.

Horace Gamble ran a general merchandise store and his brother John ran a livery stable. There were two hotels, the Greer Hotel and the Montana, a barber ship, a drug stor and a confectionary store where cigars were also sold. A school house was built in 1902. There was also a post office Early citizens and businessmen such as Charles Stenzel, William Varner, John Bush, George Erb.

Central to the town's growth were the Northern Pacific Railroad and the two large grain warehouses. The railroad arrived in 1899. The grain warehouses were owned by Volmer Clearwater Company of Lewiston and Kerr Gifford and Co. of Portland. Bradbury says it is remarkable how soon the homesteaders started producing enough crops to sell them commercially.

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Window on the Clearwater
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Orofino, ID 83544
Orofino 476 0733
Lewiston 208-503-7107
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